Data themes: Socio-political behaviour and attitudes

Resources for researching political behaviour may include data from subscription databases, publicly available data portals or archived academic projects. Some suggestions are:

Publicly available data and statistics from a project that measures the social, political, and economic atmosphere in Africa. Surveys are conducted in more than 30 African countries and trends in public attitudes tracked over time. Notes on methodology and analytical tools are also provided.

AmericasBarometer - Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP)
A resource to allow access to data and analysis from a survey of democratic public opinion and behaviour that covers the Americas (North, Central, South and the Caribbean). Americas Barometer is part of the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP).

Archive of Market and Social Research (AMSR)
Freely available online to researchers, this growing archive contains books, research journals, data abstracts and conference papers from the output of research over many decades, allowing to explore the dynamics of change, particularly in consumer behaviour.
The search program, a source of information on trend data, includes data on sociology and social history.

ASEP/JDS Data Bank
Integrates the following collections:

  • Values Surveys

  • Immigrants Collection

  • Latinobarómetro

  • 'The Public Opinion of Spaniards' survey (ASEP, Spain)

  • Afrobarometer

  • CIRES (Centre for Research on the Social Reality)

  • East-Asian Barometer

  • Centre for the Study of the Contemporary Reality (CERC)

  • Comparative Studies on Electoral Systems (CSES)

  • Globalbarometer

  • Real Instituto Elcano de Estudios Internacionales y Estratégicos

  • International Social Survey Program (ISSP)

British Social Attitudes Survey (BSA)  
A survey that produces annual measures of attitudinal change. It complements information gathered from large-scale government surveys that deal largely with facts and behaviour patterns, and party political attitudes data produced by polls. The data reflects patterns of continuity and change in political and religious beliefs, social identities, and charts the relative rates at which social attitudes change over time.

Caucasus Barometer 
In order to increase the cross-comparison of regional social and economic dynamics, the Caucacus Research Resource Centers (CRRC) began a coordinated data collection effort in the fall of 2003 to obtain reliable, comparable data on household knowledge, attitudes and practices across the South Caucasus. The CRRC teams in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia have been collecting data in the South Caucasus on an annual basis since 2004. Although the 2004 DI survey was initially carried out only in the 3 capital cities, the 2005 DI also included one region in each country. Since 2006, the survey has been carried out nationwide, in both urban and rural areas.

Citizenship Survey  
The survey provides an evidence base for government policy, principally covering the issues of community cohesion, civic engagement, race and faith, and volunteering.

Comparative Agendas Project (CAP)
Monitors policy processes by tracking the actions that governments take in response to the challenges they face, and classifies policy activities into a single, universal and consistent coding scheme.

Comparative Constitutions Project
Data on the formal characteristics of written constitutions, both current and historical, for most independent states since 1789.

Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES)
A collaborative program of research among election study teams from around the world. Participating countries include a common module of survey questions in their post-election studies.

Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections Data
Provides access to data aggregated at levels of geography (i.e., presidential elections results by Congressional District). Some aggregated data are free to use but the detailed data are by subscription only or can be can purchased as individual files.

The library currently holds U.S. Representative General - County and Congressional District Level Vote: 2004, 2006 and 2008 datasets, a selection of high-quality, very detailed election data sets, compiled from official sources relating to U.S. Representative General - County and Congressional District Level Votes for the elections of 2004, 2006 and 2008. These contains a breakdown of voting by State, County, Town and Congressional Dsitrict. Graphs, statistics and candidate names are also included. The files include state, county, and town-level FIPS codes.

Access: (via Weblearn, click on individual datasets) and use is restricted to members of the University.

Please use the ‘Recommend a resource’ form to request specific county data sets, explaining how the resource will be used.

European Values Studies
Five waves of EVS surveys were conducted, from 1981 to 2007, addressing a range of social, economic, cultural and religious topics.

Gallup Analytics
A searchable resource of public opinion data and analysis; analysis of new data and historical trends at country, state and city levels is available via the Gallup World Poll, Gallup Daily Tracking and Gallup Brain databases. Global tracking data is also available from outside the United States since 2005 for an additional 160 countries. Users are able to create custom tables and export data.

Access: subscription is limited to only one user at a time. Please close your browser when finished to allow others to connect.

Please note: the Bodleian subscription does not cover microdata, i.e. unaggregated person level data.

Global Indicators Database
A resource developed by the Pew Research Center building on data and statistics from public opinion surveys it conducts around the world. It covers a broad array of subjects ranging from people's assessments of their own lives to their views to important issues of the day. Survey questions, topics and analysis are available for browsing.

International Election Monitoring: Three Global Datasets on Election Quality, Election Events and International Election Observation (ICPSR 31461)
Data collection focusing on elections and election monitoring throughout the world on the national level.

Access: Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)
A major archive of social science research data that holds information predominately relating to the United States but also has some additional collections. Data is available on a range of topics including economic behaviour and attitudes, mass political behaviour and social institutions.

International Social Survey Programme (ISSP)
A continuing annual programme of survey collaborations that adds a cross-national, cross-cultural perspective to the individual, national studies. Special topics have included the environment, migration, the role of government, social inequality, the impact of religious background, behaviour, and beliefs on social and political preferences, and national identity. Participating countries vary for each topical module.

A comprehensive, up-to-date source for US nationwide public opinion available today. A full-text retrieval system, the iPOLL online database is organized at the question-level, providing the tools to sift through nearly a half million questions asked on national public opinion surveys since 1935 and updated daily.

Mass Observation Online
Access to material from the pioneering ethnographic project ‘Mass Observation’. It includes the entire File Report sequence 1937-1972, access to all of the Day Surveys, Directives and Diaries, 1937-1967 and Mass Observation Publications 1937-1965. A searchable topic collection covers issues such as attitudes to commodities, elections, smoking habits, and sexual behaviour. The resource also includes interactive maps, bibliographic resources and essays on various aspects of Mass Observation.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) for England and Wales: Elections
Analysis of the number of people registered to vote, including comparisons over time and between the UK constituent countries.

Online Historical Population Reports (OHPR or Histpop)
The Online Historical Population Reports (OHPR) collection provides online access to the complete British population reports for Britain and Ireland from 1801 to 1937. It includes a wealth of textual and statistical material and provides an in-depth view of the economy and society during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It is also popularly known as the Histpop project.

Roper Center for Public Opinion Research 
A major archive of public opinion surveys housing data from well-known organisations (such as Gallup) and substantial holdings of historical American surveys and polls conducted abroad by foreign firms. This includes access to iPOLL which contains nearly half a million survey questions and answers asked in the US over the last 65 years by more than 150 survey organizations.

Social Trends
A resource developed by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) that draws together social and economic data from a wide range of sources; it paints a broad picture of UK society today, attitudes, behaviour and how it has been changing.
Survey of Consumer Attitudes and Behavior

Undertaken quarterly in the United States of America, the Survey of Consumers measures changes in consumer attitudes and expectations.

UK Data Service  
An archive of social science research that, in collaboration with the UK Data Archive, makes data available from many key governmental surveys and academic research projects. Content may be downloaded or analysed online on various issues including race, economic wellbeing, voting behaviour and social attitudes.

Understanding Society: the UK household longitudinal study
With participants coming from every area of the UK the study captures important information about people’s social and economic circumstances, attitudes, lifestyle, health, family relationships and employment.

COVID-19 survey 
A special survey that asks participants about their experiences during the COVID-19 outbreak. Data from the COVID-19 questionnaire will be made available to researchers each month via the UK Data Service.

You can find further resources on this theme by using on Databases A-Z or SOLO and subject guides.

Recommendations for additions to these lists are always welcome. Please email the Bodleian Data Librarian with suggestions.